The Biden administration will ask Congress to approve a $1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan, which includes 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles, according to a new report, just as China and Russia hold major war games in the region.
Politico reported that the package as it stands "includes 60 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles for $355 million, 100 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical air-to-air missiles for $85.6 million, and $655.4 million for a surveillance radar contract extension, the people said. The Sidewinder missiles will arm Taipei’s U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets."
China has made a show of aggression to Taiwan since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the self-governing island earlier this month and was the first Speaker of the House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
Other US government officials, including Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn who called Taiwan an "independent nation" during her trip, visited the island this summer.
Beijing warned against Pelosi's visit and following the Speaker’s trip China launched missiles over Taiwan for the first time and has sent aircraft and warships daily into the Taiwan Strait.
China appears to be positioning itself to take Taiwan by military force as the communist government believes that Taiwan is part of China. They announced their plans to do so in the summer of 2021.
The Biden administration said in the spring that they would "militarily defend" Taiwan, while later indications were that the US official policy was that Taiwan was not an independent nation.
The US has followed the "One China policy" described in the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 stipulating that the US would not establish formal diplomatic relations with Taipei and created the "strategic ambiguity" doctrine which outlines that the US remains noncommittal about whether it would militarily defend Taiwan against an invasion.
On September 1, China and Russia will be holding joint military exercises involving over 50,000 troops, and more than 5,000 weapons units, which include 140 aircraft and 60 warships.
If the Biden administration formalizes the package, the Democratic chair and ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee will need to approve the arms sale before it can be finalized.
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